In this edition we are going to tackle the hardest places to play in the “AAA” class of WV High School Football. Of course, the consistent skill of the teams play a factor but what makes places truly incredible is when there is a homefield advantage regardless of the Jimmy’s or Joe’s. We are scoring these on three parameters: Environment (the stadium set up and feel), Atmosphere (the crowd and announcer), and the X-Factor (what makes playing there different than anywhere else).
5. Parkersburg High School
Granted, Parkersburg High’s stadium hasn’t been in the best shape for a couple seasons, as the visitors side bleachers are condemned; never the less, there’s something about the old stone buildings and the giant cemetery that the stadium plays neighbor to. Parkersburg High is one of the oldest schools in the state and has very traditional structures that can give inexperienced visitors a very intimidated feel. Tag team this with their rich history and lengthy fan base and the advantage becomes evident. This has allowed several home winning streaks against rivals that span DECADES.
Environment: 4.5/5 (unique set up)
Atmosphere: 3/5 (usual fan base)
X-Factor: 4/5 (unmatched tradition)
4. Morgantown High School
Another one of the oldest schools in the state, Morgantown, has one of the coolest stadiums around. Their unique feature is also the most impactful. The stadium is set up in a horseshoe with the school wrapping around it. When Mohigan fans pack the stands, the field gets completely surrounded and it is certainly distracting and a feeling of claustrophobia sets in. Players struggle to stay focused in this venue because not only are they surrounded, but the sound bounces off the school walls making it VERY loud. There is no place like it.
Environment: 5/5 (Unmatched stadium)
Atmosphere: 3.5 (Fans are magnified)
X-Factor: 4/5 (Cramped field of play)
3. Wheeling Park High School
If you don’t like water, you won’t like Wheeling Island. For those not familiar, Wheeling Island Stadium is home to the Super 6 every year and is very literally, on an island. The recent flooding in Northern WV actually had the stadium underwater in January, but everything should be alright. Surrounded describes Morgantown High well, but is an understatement for Wheeling Island. The stands are built up from around the field and soar 20-30 rows high. The giant concrete stands make it feel like players are gladiators fighting in a coliseum. The crowd is what makes this place special as they pile in and roar it up.
Environment: 4/5 (Scaling stadium seats)
Atmosphere: 5/5 (Rowdy fans)
X-Factor: 4/5 (THE ISLAND)
2. Cabell Midland High School
The Scarlet Knights don’t have the same prolonged history of other schools but it does have a combination of historical alumni from the consolidated schools. Their home bleachers soar while the visitors get to look up at them. Their players come out in uniform fashion, orchestrate a Samoan war dance, and the crowd is relentless. Not only that, but they also run out behind a motorcycle and ear-ringing fireworks shoot off after every score and the announcer being not so unbiased. Gaining momentum their is on the verge of impossible.
Environment: 4/5 (Scaling bleachers)
Atmosphere: 5/5 (Top notch announcer and loud fans)
X-Factor: 5/5 (Motorycles, fireworks, and war chants)
Martinsburg High School
Yes, of course the Bulldogs are on top, when are they not? We aren’t jumping off the train until someone derails them. One thing is always certain, when you enter Martinsburg High’s Stadium, you are property of the Bulldogs for 4 full quarters. There’s nothing special to the eye when the stadium isn’t packed, and even when it is, you may no sense it as a spectator. But what makes Martinsburg’s home turf the most intimidating is that they don’t really talk trash, they don’t shoot off fireworks, they stand their calm and collected with an unmatched confidence. The smaller sized field is a mere trick. You know, right as the first kickoff goes, that they haven’t lost a home game to a West Virginia team since 2007.
Environment: 4/5 (Eerie feel with banners allure)
Atmosphere: 5/5 (Confident vibe)
X-Factor: 7/5 (They’re plain good)
Disagree? Let us know! And also, what AA and A schools pose the steepest advantage?